In this edition of SEO Tip Jar I want to show you some free keyword tools that can start using today to supplement your press release and online content creation efforts. Keyword tools are an excellent resource to help you optimize for search, generate new ideas, gauge the relative popularity of different keywords among searchers or even just learn some new words. I’ve divided this post into two sections:
Keyword Generation Tools which give you ideas and statistics based on keywords you input
Quirky Keyword Tools which might seem a little out there at first but can help you look at related words in different ways and maybe even give you a few ideas.
Without further ado, let’s dig in to the tools!
Keyword Generation Tools
Wordtracker’s Free Keyword Suggestion Tool is the granddaddy of online keyword tools. Wordtracker was started way back in 1997 and uses a database of search terms culled from popular “metacrawlers” Dogpile and Metacrawler to supplement its keyword suggestion engine with data on search volume.
Wordtracker’s tool is designed to give you keyword ideas and usage is simple. Just enter a keyword and click the button. You’ll receive the top 100 related keywords in order of search volume.
It’s worth noting that since search frequency data is not provided directly by Google, Yahoo or Bing you should probably look at the numbers to gauge relative popularity rather than a precise estimate of the traffic you may be competing for.
If you are a data geek and want even more numbers surrounding these results, you can also try SEOBook’s free keyword tool (registration required) which borrows suggestions from Wordtracker. If you want even more results you’ll need to subscribe to their paid plan which is $59 per month.
Wordstream’s Free Keyword tool is a relative newcomer but provides a bit more features than Wordtracker. First off, Wordstream lets you put in more than one keyword at once. This lets you more easily gauge popularity of different terms. Second, and most importantly, Wordstream will provide you with a full list of matching keywords via e-mail rather than limiting results to the first 100.
Another difference between the two services is that Wordstream keywords are ranked with relative frequency rather than hard numbers, although this might actually make it easier for people to put all the keywords you generate in context.
They also assert that their keyword tools draw from the widest dataset, although the results returned seemed quite similar to Wordtracker in my limited tests.
Wordstream has another tool called the Keyword Niche Finder that aims to give you segmented result sets for niche keywords based a single keyword that you enter. enter.
Since the groups generated are likely to be seen as similar by search engines as well as news consumers I can see this tool being very useful for conceiving and building topic themes for, say, a related series of press releases, marketing messages and social media topics working in conjunction.
Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool is a favorite of many wordsmiths since it pulls recommendations and data directly from Google. As the name suggests, this tool is designed to help Google AdWords advertisers and tends to show you very broad keywords with the most search activity by default (top recommendations for my keywords make sushi and learn Japanese were sushi making and Japanese sushi). These recommendations and data provided can be useful for anyone crafting online content if you’re willing to mine through the results.
Here’s a tip to find more targeted keywords with the AdWords tool: sort by Global Monthly Searches from low to high and work your way up the list until you find a sweet spot of targeted keywords with significant traffic. You could also supplement your research with Google Trends for even more data.
Quirky Keyword Tools
Sometimes you just need to take a more different look at things. The following tools can help you spot trends and relationships among all the words floating around the web.
SEOMoz’s Popular Searches tool simply displays popular searches and topics from Google, Yahoo, Technorati, Amazon, eBay and elsewhere. All of this data is available scattered around the web, but it’s great to have it in one place. You can also search the archives to see what’s been popular as far back as 2007.
If you are looking for a hook to a hot topic, SEOMoz’s tool can be a great place to go and get a feel for what’s hot across the Internet.
Quintura is designed as a visual search engine aid. The site shows related keywords in a tag cloud style design when you perform a search. Each keyword is clickable and leads you on a web search, making it both a helpful general research tool and keyword visualizer.
VisualThesaurus is not entirely free, but you can perform a few searches before the app starts asking for your credit card information. Among visual tools I’ve looked at, the clean display and comprehensive depth of word trees presented by VisualThesaurus really make it stand out. My searches for common words like make produced vast trees of related words and terms.
Last but not least is Soovle. This tool grabs the search auto-complete results from various popular websites and displays them all in one place. As opposed to the Popular Searches tool, which tells you what’s hot now, Soovle can be a novel way to find out what searches related to the keyword you enter are the most popular in the long term among many searchers.
Do you have any experience using these or other keyword tools? Did I miss any great ones? Please let me know by commenting below or sending a message to @EONpr on Twitter.